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Poster
Robustness and risk-sensitivity in Markov decision processes
Takayuki Osogami

Thu Dec 06 02:00 PM -- 12:00 AM (PST) @ Harrah’s Special Events Center 2nd Floor #None

We uncover relations between robust MDPs and risk-sensitive MDPs. The objective of a robust MDP is to minimize a function, such as the expectation of cumulative cost, for the worst case when the parameters have uncertainties. The objective of a risk-sensitive MDP is to minimize a risk measure of the cumulative cost when the parameters are known. We show that a risk-sensitive MDP of minimizing the expected exponential utility is equivalent to a robust MDP of minimizing the worst-case expectation with a penalty for the deviation of the uncertain parameters from their nominal values, which is measured with the Kullback-Leibler divergence. We also show that a risk-sensitive MDP of minimizing an iterated risk measure that is composed of certain coherent risk measures is equivalent to a robust MDP of minimizing the worst-case expectation when the possible deviations of uncertain parameters from their nominal values are characterized with a concave function.

Author Information

Takayuki Osogami (IBM Research - Tokyo)

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